August 02, 2012 09:47
The Rim of the Pacific military exercise off Hawaii came to an end today. Sailors from CFB Esquimalt will begin the voyage home.
This edition of RIMPAC lasted six weeks with 42 ships, six submarines and more than 200 aircraft from the U.S, Canada and over 20 other nations.
Rear Admiral Ron Lloyd believes this year was one of the "the most robust joint capability we've provided to this exercise," with over 1,400 troops from the navy, army and air force participating.
From Vancouver Island, two long range patrol aircraft from CFB Comox and Sea King Helicopters from 443 Squadron Pat Bay were in Hawaii. HMCS Algonquin, HMCS Ottawa, three maritime coastal defense vessels and the fleet diving unit participated from CFB Esquimalt.
Canada's force also included one of the Royal Canadian Navy's troubled submarines. HMCS Victoria successfully launched a MK48 torpedo and sunk a target ship, the decommissioned US Navy ship Concord. It was a first for Canada's submarine fleet.
"So a huge, huge accomplishment for that ship's company and demonstrating the momentum that important strategic ability has for Canada," Rear Admiral Lloyd told C-FAX from Pearl Harbour. "To see that torpedo hit the Concord, that big explosion and then.... when it was straight up and down and on its way to the bottom, a huge sense of accomplishment."
Rear Admiral Lloyd says this year's RIMPAC offered the chance for Canadian officers to take leadership roles in commanding different aspects of joint operations. For example, the overall air component was lead by Canadian Brigadier General Michael Hood.